The Baltimore Ravens have made if official. The team announced on Twitter that they released embattled running back Ray Rice on Monday.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice's contract this afternoon.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014
This comes on the heels of TMZ releasing the video of Rice knocking his then fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious in an incident this past February. The pressure was definitely on the Ravens to make a move here, especially with the public backlash the organization was receiving prior to the release on Monday.
Rice was suspended two games by the NFL after the incident, a move that many criticized as being too soft.
It remains to be seen whether Rice will catch on with another team at some point, but that seems highly unlikely. Rice had lost the support of his teammates following the release of the video early Monday morning. In addition to that, the league has made the decision to its toughen domestic violence policy.
The NFL denied that it saw the video prior to its release on Monday. But that seems a tad far-fetched at this point.
In order for both the Ravens and the NFL to move on from this PR nightmare, a move needed to be made by the organization. And they acted swiftly on Monday.
Update: The NFL has suspended Ray Rice indefinitely.
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) September 8, 2014
Update (4:15 et): The Ravens sacrificed a lot of cap room by releasing Rice before he was suspended by the NFL. He has over $8 million in dead money for the 2015 season. They can still ask for an exception, but that’s a highly unlikely scenario at this point.
Updated (12:54 am et): The NFL reiterated on Monday evening that it had no knowledge of the Rice video before it was released by TMZ. There are now indications that the gossip rag has some information that proves the league did in fact have knowledge of the video beforehand. In addition to this, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann has joined other media personalities in calling for Roger Goodell’s resignation. Needless to say, this story isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
Photo: USA Today